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FARM BILL MAKES ROOM FOR POLLINATORS

Day-long course designed to help land managers plan for pollinating invertebrates
WASHINGTON, DC — The 2008 Farm Bill made pollinators and their habitat a conservation priority for every USDA land manager and conservationist. On Thursday, Sept. 2, the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation will conduct a training session from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., providing an overview of pollinator-specific language within the Farm Bill and how to translate that language into on-the-ground conservation. A pollinator is a biotic agent, usually an insect, that moves from plant to plant, aiding in plant reproduction and growth.

Pollinator biology and the economics of insect pollination are among topics that will be covered. Classroom and field sessions will be held at the Manhattan Plant Materials Center, 3800 South 20th Street in Manhattan.

This day-long course will equip conservationists, land managers, farm educators, and agricultural professionals with the latest science-based approaches to increasing crop security and reversing the trend of pollinator decline, especially in heavily-managed agricultural landscapes. Speakers from the University of Oklahoma, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Xerces Society will be on hand. Course topics include the following:

  • awareness of various federal programs and funding available for pollinator conservation;
  • approaches to increase and enhance pollinator diversity;
  • current best management practices that minimize land-use impacts on pollinators;
  • how to recognize bees and distinguish them from other insects;
  • economics of insect-pollinated crops and the effects of pollinator decline;
  • 2008 Farm Bill pollinator conservation provisions and how to implement those provisions in programs such as WHIP, EQIP, and CSP;
  • how to assess pollinator habitat;
  • recommendations to farmers and land managers who conserve pollinators; and
  • how to design and implement habitat improvements.

The course is free to the first 30 registrants. Additional seats are available for $25. Participants will receive the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Toolkit. To register, contact Ashley Minnerath at 503-232-6639 or ashley@xerces.org.

This course is supported by the Kansas Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program (www.sare.org). For more information, go online to www.xerces.org.
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